It is finally happened, a tax ID thief going to jail.
A Miami man who filed 486 fraudulent tax returns and then arranged to have the refunds deposited on to pre-paid Walmart and Visa gift cards has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
Woody Ulysse, 26, pleaded guilty in April to one count of Access Device Fraud after bilking the United States government and taxpayers counting on there refunds of about $507,041 in the scam. About $1000 per tax return. Many of these poor victims will not get there refunds for at least 6 months.
The United States Secret Service and IRS began investigating 486 fraudulent tax returns filed between Jan. 16, 2011 and April 4, 2011, according to the criminal complaint against Ulysse.
The tax returns “utilized compromised police and firefighter identities,” said a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office Thursday.Someone must have hacked into the data base of the police and firefighters and stolen social security numbers. Michael D. Sullivan former IRS agent said that all the thief needs is a social security number and a name.
Filed online using Turbo Tax, the returns requested that any refunds be electronically deposited on to Walmart, Visa and Green Dot pre-paid money cards.
On March 15, 2011, a Delray Beach police detective reported that a fraudulent tax return filed on Feb. 2 had used personal information from a victim only identified as R.M.
The $1,000 refund was issued to a Green Dot pre-paid debit card account created in the name of a victim identified as M.D.
Three days later, investigators obtained surveillance video from a SunTrust Bank in Hollywood. The footage showed WoodyUlysse using the Green Dot card to withdraw $400 on Feb. 13.
On March 30, an IRS CI special agent reported a third victim named T.L. whose fraudulently filed tax return was filed Feb. 2. The $1,000 refund went out to M.D.’s Green Dot account.
The next day, agents obtained video footage of Ulysse using the same Green Dot card to withdraw $1,200 from three Bank of America branches in Broward County between Feb. 11 and 15, 2011.
Investigators contacted R.M., M.D., and T.L.., who said they did not give Ulysse permission to file tax returns on their behalf.
On Oct. 28, 2011, Ulysse was arrested in Miramar for driving with a suspended license.
Miramar police searched him and found 11 pre-paid Walmart MoneyCards with a total value of $32,323.00. Each card had been filled with fraudulent income tax refunds.
Agents executed a search warrant at an undisclosed address, finding 39 documents including hand-written lists, printouts from local dental offices and computer printouts containing dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and names inside a plastic bag hidden behind a refrigerator.
It’s not been disclosed how Ulysse got all of this information but we do know that some data based had to be hacked.
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement records search showed that before the tax refund caper, Ulysse had been arrested four times.
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